If you consider “a” to be a word, my seven-word summary is “Took a while, but I got there.” If “a” doesn’t count, I prefer “It took a while, but I got there.”
1st HE alternate: “If you trust yourself when others don’t.” 2nd HE alternate (14-word cheating version): “Long and hard is the way that out of hell leads up to light.”
Sidenote: I’ve never liked the idea of “a” being a word. It’s just a letter — it’s not, you know, an actual word. Conflicted, measured, loquacious, randy, uncertain, impudent…those are words that you can really shake hands with. What is “a” really? A neutral, non-judgmental single-digit thingie that you put before a noun. You can call it a word if you want, but I’ve had doubts for decades. If you ask me the jury is still out.